Mar 31 2010 09:40 am

Posted by under EnvProblems

“Managing For Sustainability”

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/72MCumz5lq4" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

An ironic part of the ‘Tapped’ seminar I thought, was when the Poland Springs billboard was shown with their slogan being, “managing for sustainability”. I’m not sure what part of their plastic water bottle campaign they consider to be “manageable” and “sustainable” when only 23% of plastic water bottles are recycled in the United States. Not to mention the raw toxic materials necessary to make plastic water bottles, and the pollution that these materials are adding to our once pure water ways.

The article that I found this picture in was focusing on companies that have began “making improvements” to their products, so that they are more environmentally “friendly” and “sustainable”. To the average consumer (and to me, before I watched the tapped seminar), this ad along with other media sources presents Poland Springs in a positive light as if their product is now benifiting the environment. However, I think it’s ironic that they’re saying they’re “doing less” and that their “100% natural spring water” has lss impact on the Earth — when in reality, their product is not natural. According to the ‘Tapped’ seminar, dozens of chemicals were found in plastic water bottles that were taken right off the shelves in grocery stores. These chemicals are toxic and have been linked to obesity, ADD, and several forms of cancer. Which, I also think is interesting considering that obesity and ADD have been occuring in record numbers among American children. I think this entire add is a contradiction to “natural” products, because the real  natural product would be tap water. The plastic water bottle industry is a multi-billion dollar corporation that despite their denials, is trying to be the only supplier of “natural” and “safe” drinking water. Thirty years ago, this industry was virtually inexistent — and today, Americans are spending more money for a bottle of water than they would for the same amount of gasoline. We are told that tap water is not safe, and that water fountains are suspicious. However, in truth it is the exact opposite. Tap water is tested in facilities thousands of times a month, while in comparison, there is one person working for the FDA in charge of testing all bottled water companies in the United States. To me, following this seminar, it is obvious that this is simply the result of billions upon billions of dollars of well-researched marketing, coupled with ignorant consumers. While this is not necessarily the consumers fault (for these companies are supplying what we demand), we need to be the ones to end this process. Without demand, there will be no supply — or supply will greatly decrease.

“Environmental-wise, we go through about 50 billion plastic water bottles but the recycling rate is only 23%, so about 38 billion bottles are filling up in our landfills” (http://blog.case.edu/james.chang/2007/06/index). Another interesting fact that I found on this webiste was that while the Fiji water bottleing company “spits out more than 1 million bottles a day, half the people in Fiji do not have safe, reliable drinking water”. I’m sure this can be applied to dozens of other countries.

1 Comment »

One Response to ““Managing For Sustainability””

  1. Dr. Szulczewski on 08 Apr 2010 at 2:08 pm #

    Ha! This blog could be called Irony. Those ads, the issue with actual Fiji- so much is media spin. And commercials work. That ad for Poland Spring is brilliant and will definitely attract unknowing customers.

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